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Posted by Nelson Matos on 6/3/2018

Closing costs are usually an unavoidable part of buying a home. While there are ways to reduce some closing costs and fees, they are an expense you will likely have to consider when it comes time to save for a home.

On average, buyers can expect to pay between 2 and 5 percent of the purchase price in closing costs and fees.

In this article, we’re going to break down those costs and talk about some ways to plan for, or limit, the fees associated with closing on a home.

A breakdown of closing costs

Most closing costs in a real estate transaction are paid for by the buyer. When getting approved for a mortgage, your lender is required to provide you with an estimate of the closing costs. This is called a “Closing Disclosure statement” which overviews the details of your loan.

Different lenders will charge varying amounts in fees. Some are even willing to waive certain fees. But, we’ll discuss that later.

For now, let’s focus on the closing costs buyers typically have to pay:

  • Attorney fees - a flat-fee or hourly rate depending on the attorney

  • Origination fees - an upfront fee charged by the lender for processing your mortgage application

  • Prepaid interest or discount points - a payment for the interest that will accrue on your mortgage from the time you close until your first mortgage payment is due

  • Home inspection fee - the fee that a professional home inspector charges to inspect a home

  • Escrow deposits - Usually split with the seller, this is the fee charged by an escrow agent

  • Recording fees - fees for legally recording the new deed and mortgage

  • Underwriting fees - fees paid to the lender for researching your mortgage case and determining whether or not to approve your application

These are just some of the many fees that can be due upon closing on a home. Depending on where you live, which lender you choose, and the type of mortgage you secure, your closing costs will vary, so it’s a good idea to shop around for a lender and mortgage type with reasonable closing costs.

Reducing closing costs

Some lenders offer no-cost, or low-cost mortgages. However, these savings often come with a higher interest rate which, over the lifespan of your loan, can cost you more in the long run.

You should also be aware of the different loan types that you may be eligible for. FHA loans, USDA loans, and VA loans are all designed for buyers hoping to make lower down payments on their home.

Each loan type provides different amounts due at closing. Fortunately, your mortgage lender will be able to give you an estimate of costs for each loan type.

Want to get an estimate of the closing costs you’ll have to pay when you buy a home? You can use this online calculator to see an average.




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Posted by Nelson Matos on 5/6/2018

After conducting an in-depth home search, you probably have discovered that many outstanding houses are available. Yet you're still on the fence about whether to submit an offer to purchase a residence.

Ultimately, there are many signs that now may be the ideal time to submit an offer to purchase a residence, and these include:

1. You find a house that matches or exceeds your expectations.

If you view a home and find that it matches or exceeds your expectations, you may want to submit an offer to purchase this residence. Because if a home seller accepts your proposal, you then can conduct a house inspection to alleviate any potential concerns.

Remember, a house that matches or exceeds your expectations now may fail to do so following an inspection. Lucky for you, an inspection provides a valuable learning opportunity. If you discover you no longer wish to purchase a house following an inspection, you can rescind your offer to purchase and reenter the housing market.

2. You're operating in a seller's market.

A seller's market generally features a shortage of high-quality houses and an abundance of buyers. Thus, if you find a home that you want to buy in a seller's market, you should not hesitate to submit an offer to purchase. Because if you wait too long, you may miss out on the opportunity to buy your dream residence.

If you submit an offer to purchase a home in a seller's market, it is important to provide a competitive homebuying proposal. By doing so, you can increase the likelihood of receiving an instant "Yes" from a seller and move quickly to acquire your ideal house.

3. You're facing a time crunch.

If you want to move to a new home soon, there is no need to wait to submit an offer to purchase. In this scenario, you should submit an offer to purchase as soon as you discover your dream house. That way, you can speed up the process of relocating from one address to another.

Of course, if you face a time crunch, you should map out your home search as much as possible. Just because you have a limited amount of time at your disposal does not mean you should be forced to settle for an inferior home. Fortunately, if you create a homebuying strategy, you can find ways to optimize your time and resources throughout your home search.

For homebuyers who are uncertain about whether to submit an offer to purchase a house, it may be beneficial to work with a real estate agent too. A real estate agent can offer expert insights into the housing sector. As such, this housing market professional can help you determine whether now is the right time to submit an offer to purchase a house.

Hire a real estate agent today, and you can get the help you need to discover your ideal residence and acquire this house at a price that matches your budget.




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Posted by Nelson Matos on 4/29/2018

A home inspection can make or break a property sale. If all goes well during a home inspection, a buyer and seller can proceed with a transaction. Conversely, if a home inspector discovers major problems with a house, a property sale may be in jeopardy.

As a homebuyer, you'll want to do everything possible to ensure a home inspection delivers valuable insights. With in-depth home insights at your disposal, you can determine whether to continue with a home purchase or reenter the housing market.

To ensure a successful home inspection, let's take a look at three common home inspection mistakes, and how a homebuyer can avoid these problems.

1. A homebuyer hires an inexperienced home inspector.

When it comes to hiring a home inspector, it is always better to err on the side of caution. With an experienced home inspector at your side, you can boost the likelihood of a successful home inspection.

Evaluate a variety of local home inspectors. Then, take a look at each home inspector's background and expertise to narrow your search.

In addition, if you feel comfortable with a home inspector, reach out to this professional directly before you make your final hiring decision. That way, you can request client referrals and gain additional insights to help you make an informed selection.

2. A homebuyer does not attend a home inspection.

A homebuyer is not required to attend a home inspection. However, attendance usually is a good idea, regardless of your homebuying expertise.

Remember, a home purchase is one of the biggest transactions that you likely will complete in your lifetime. If you want to ensure a home is a viable long-term investment, it certainly pays to walk around a property with a home inspector and conduct an in-depth evaluation.

In many instances, attending a home inspection may enable a homebuyer to gain home insights that might not be included in a home inspection report as well.

For example, a home inspector who identifies issues with a property may be able to give a homebuyer an estimate about how much it will cost to complete myriad property repairs. These insights are exceedingly valuable and can help a homebuyer determine whether a house is a worthwhile purchase.

3. A homebuyer ignores a home inspection report.

After a home inspector completes a property evaluation, this professional will provide the homebuyer with a home inspection report. Then, a homebuyer will have a set amount of time to review the report to determine whether to proceed with a home purchase.

A home inspection report contains plenty of valuable insights, and as such, should not be ignored. Instead, a homebuyer should spend time evaluating the report and learning from it. And if a homebuyer has any questions, he or she can reach out to the home inspector who provided the report for answers.

Lastly, if you need help planning a home inspection, you should employ a real estate agent. By hiring a real estate agent, you'll have no trouble getting in touch with the best home inspectors in your area.





Posted by Nelson Matos on 2/18/2018

A home showing will help you gain the insights you need to make an informed decision about a house purchase. At the same time, you may have many concerns about whether a residence is right for you, even after you complete a home showing.

Ultimately, there are many questions to consider after you finish a house showing to ensure you can make the right choice about a residence, and these include:

1. How did I feel as I walked through a home?

Oftentimes, homebuyers try to envision what life may be like if they purchase a residence. As these buyers walk through a house during a showing, it sometimes can be simple to imagine the possibilities if you buy this residence. On the other hand, it may be tough to envision a future in a particular home if a house fails to match or exceed your expectations.

Think about how you felt as you explored each room in a house during a showing. If you left a home showing with a good feeling about a residence, it may be beneficial to submit an offer or set up a follow-up showing. Conversely, if a home showing left you feeling uncomfortable with a residence, you may want to continue your search for your dream house.

2. Are there any major issues with a home?

Generally, it is a good idea to ask lots of questions about a house during a showing. This will enable you to learn about the condition of a home and determine whether major repairs are necessary.

A home in need of significant upgrades offers opportunities for homebuyers who are looking for a "fixer-upper" house. In fact, if you submit an offer on a fixer-upper home, you may be able to perform assorted repairs to enhance a house's condition and value.

Comparatively, if you are unwilling to perform substantial home upgrades, there is no need to worry. You can always forego submitting an offer on a house after a showing, and by doing so, continue your pursuit for your ideal home.

3. Is a home a viable long-term investment?

As a homebuyer, it is important to find a house that will serve you well both now and in the future. Because if you fail to do so, you risk purchasing a house that will only decline in value in the years to come.

If you feel that a home is a viable long-term investment following a showing, you may want to submit an offer to acquire this residence. Then, if a seller accepts your offer, you can conduct a home inspection and move forward in the homebuying process.

Lastly, as you consider what to do after a home showing, you may want to collaborate with a real estate agent. This housing market professional can help you evaluate the pros and cons of submitting an offer on a particular residence. Perhaps best of all, a real estate agent will offer expert tips to ensure you can find your dream residence in no time at all.




Tags: Buying a home   showing  
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Posted by Nelson Matos on 1/28/2018

Your thirties are a time of many important financial decisions. Many people are starting families, buying homes, and getting settled into their careers by the time they turn thirty. The following ten years are often marked by salary increases, moving into larger homes, and saving for retirement.

It’s vital to have a solid grasp on personal finance in your thirties, as it is in many ways the foundation of your finances for the decades to come. So, in this article we’re going to give you some advice on buying a home and managing your money in your thirties.

Straighten out your credit

If your twenties were a volatile time of incurring debts from student loans, car loans, and other expenses, then it’s paramount to get your credit in order in your early thirties. Having a high credit score can secure you lower interest rates on a home loan or let you refinance your loans at lower rates.

Start by making sure your bills are on auto-pay, and be sure to settle any older debts from your younger years. You can also use a credit card for recurring expenses, such as gas to get to work or groceries, and then pay them off in full each month. This way, you’ll build credit and avoid accruing  interest at the same time.

Reevaluate your lifestyle and long term goals

A lot can change from the time you turn 25 to the time you turn 35. Your goals might shift from finding a home near the ocean to finding a home near a good school district for your children. You might also have the shocking realization that your children will be heading to college sooner than it might seem, and that you’re still working on paying off your own student debt.

Consider things like the size house you’ll need for your family, where you want to live and whether that involves being close to aging parents, and reallocating money depending on your retirement goals.

Rethink your insurance coverage

Gone are the days when all you needed was a car insurance policy to get by. As you age and your responsibilities grow, you’ll need to think about the future for you and your family. That may include a more comprehensive health insurance plan for your family, a life insurance policy for yourself, or increased covered for home and auto insurance.

Automate the headaches away

With all of these growing responsibilities, it can be easy to get frustrated with the time you’re losing to keeping your finance in order. Fortunately, there are many tools at your disposal in the internet age that will make all of those responsibilities an afterthought.

First, get a budget planning app, like Mint or You Need a Budget (YNAB). Next, set up your bills to auto-pay if you haven’t yet. Then, put reminders in your phone to periodically check your credit score and reassess whether you need to pay for certain monthly services (do you still watch Hulu?). Finally, if you haven’t yet, make sure you have your paychecks direct deposited into the accounts you’d like them to enter so you don’t have to worry about them.




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